Review Summary: Maybeshewill prove once more that they're worthy of the hyperbole that's been heaped on them over the years, for "I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone" is a beautiful and engrossing experience.
Gone are the days where exploding climaxes and beautiful, sweeping melodies would make any post-rock fan swoon. The simple days, the days where Explosions in the Sky and Mono reigned with their pretty guitar noodling and egregious cymbal crashes, these days are no more. It’s harder to get by on these things, truly it is, as many a fan have gotten wise, and hailed such things as tepid and stale. Fortunately, bands like Maybeshewill have realized the changing of the times, and are doing something about it. Case in point, their third proper album, I Was Here For a Moment Then I Was Gone
I Was Here For a Moment Then I Was Gone
follows Sing the Word Hope In Four Part Harmony
, the 2009 sophomore effort that proved catapulted them into the public eye. Critically acclaimed, the album featured a much more “aggressive” band, one that had a much heavier tone, both musically and conceptually. Tapping into political themes, as well as dashes of existentialism, Sing the Word Hope…
was a breath of fresh air. The songs were loud, quick, and full of energy and exuberance. I Was Here For a Moment, Then I Was Gone
does a decent job at replicating this, but just a few short minutes in, it becomes apparent that this is a different kind of beast.
Where Sing the Word Hope…
was Maybeshewill’s hardcore record, I Was Here For a Moment…
is their more poppy one. Shedding just about everything that was so intense about their sophomore effort, the band have crafted an undeniably gorgeous, sweeping album, all whilst keeping the overall accessibility that they’ve become known for. And that’s really what is so damn great about I Was Here For a Moment…
—its incredible ability to stuff into five minutes, what some post-rock bands can barely do in ten. Each track is a quick shot of beautiful melodies and harmonies, melding together into a purely engrossing piece of music. There’s still bit of an edge to be found, however, but they’ve traded their mild crushingness for a more overall “pretty” sound.
The new sound fits the band well, and honestly, often times surpass what was found on their previous work. There are more strings, and a heavier emphasis on piano. Electronic influences are used as well, but sparsely. It’s polished to a shine, as the production is absolutely wonderful. However, this comes at the cost of the band’s personality. There are no more samples, and literally, no vocal portions, speaking or singing. Overall, it’s a more streamlined approach, and while it sounds fantastic, it can’t be helped but think that they’ve lost what’s made them unique. In a way, I Was Here For a Moment…
feels too polished, and too perfected, eventually getting lost in the glut of post-rock albums that have the same sound and same approach. Thankfully, moments like these are few and far between, which is made clear when songs like the rapid and catchy “Take This To Heart” kick in.
“Take This to Heart” opens the album up the way it should be opened—loud, rapidly, and dripping with that Maybeshewill style. Yet it’s when tracks like “Relative Minors” and “Farwell Sarajevo” enter in that the album really becomes exceptional. “Relative Minors,” a largely piano driven piece, is stunningly beautifully. Exploding with poise and atmosphere, the song really displays how well Maybeshewill can craft a beautiful, thoughtful song, to counter-balance their more brash nature. The longest song clocks in at about six and a half minutes, making the album somewhat short, but incredibly sweet. Simple, amiable tracks like “Words for Arabella” would be trite if any longer than several minutes, which points to the bands ability to make a meaningful song without the need for any filler.
I Was Here For a Moment, Then I Was Gone
is simply an excellent post-rock record, with all the fat and filler cut out, leaving only room for pure, brilliant songwriting. No time is wasted, letting just about every moment be great in its own right. This softer edge of Maybeshewill may come as a surprise to some, and to others, well, maybe they won’t even notice. Either way, Maybeshewill prove that they’re more than a flash in the pan, as they have plenty of musical and songwriting ability to astound, regardless of their aesthetic approach.